December 25, 2020


Holiday Tips for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Christmas is just around the corner and it is a time of happiness and celebration for everyone.  The holiday season is a chance for families to catch up, reminisce, and celebrate. When it comes to those with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their loved ones, extra precautions are great to have in place when the hustle and bustle gets a little overwhelming.

Here are some tips from Boomerang LIFE to help make your holiday season a success!

Keep it short.

The holidays for many people mean driving around from relative to relative, having breakfast at one house only to wind up with dinner at another. For seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, travel and the long hours associated with it are especially tough and can trigger responsive behaviours. Try to limit your travelling to once a day, with short distances. If at all possible, encourage people to come visit you!

Have a safe and quiet space

Everyone can agree that the holidays can be a little overwhelming. The glittering lights, holiday music, and different conversations can be hard to follow and exhausting for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  To help with this, prepare a quiet room ahead of time to retreat to when the party gets to be too much. Having a quiet, safe, and comfortable space will help them settle and limit responsive behaviours.

Encourage help with decorating and gifts.

Nothing gets you into the Christmas spirit like decorating a Christmas tree. This is incredibly true for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Encourage your loved one to help you with decorating and gift-wrapping. Even small things, such as holding the tape for gift wrapping, or choosing a tree topper, can help promote self-confidence and set a positive mood.

Be in the moment

Holidays are a major event and hold a lot of memories for everyone. Seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia may start to reminisce and recall all sorts of memories, even ones that aren’t necessarily factual. Instead of trying to reorient them, just be in the moment with them and encourage their sharing. Be empathetic and try to redirect them when they start bringing up sadder memories, and offer your support.

Have Fun!

Remember to take time for yourself and enjoy the season. Ask for help from family and friends to help lessen the load, and take time to relax and soak in the holiday spirit.

When possible, kick back, enjoy a holiday classic movie while enjoying some Holiday treats and egg nog!

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